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Google Display Network Best Practices In A First-Party Cookie World



With first-party data becoming more relevant and third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, this leaves marketers questioning, how can I best prepare? With these changes, remarketing will likely be limited. We’ll instead focus more on targeting users with certain interests or browsing habits. This results in limited capabilities when it comes to reaching certain markets. The time is now to test new audience methods in Google Display Network.

Regarding new privacy laws, how do we best prepare for the unknown? Well, just like anything in life, you can’t cover your bases fully, but you can do your best to prepare. Read on to learn more!

So, What Are Third Party Cookies?

Simply put, cookies remember things such as login details, products added to cart, etc. First-party cookies are created by the original domain, third-party cookies are created by other domains. A first-party cookie can only be accessed by the original site, where third-party cookies can be accessed by anybody, given you download the third party code.

How Does This Relate To Me? 

As digital marketers, knowing what platforms and what strategies resonate with certain areas of the marketing funnel is our bread and butter. Typically, awareness is at the top of the funnel, followed by consideration and conversion.

One of my clients has been heavily testing Display on the Google Display Network. This has given me the opportunity to test a multitude of methods, discovering what works, what doesn’t, and what is worth testing. I will start off with the basics of best practices for GDN followed by audiences I recommend testing.

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The Basics

Below are a few basic things you can do to improve click-through rates in your display ads. Ensuring you follow best practices ensures optimal campaign performance.

  • Optimize Towards Your Desired Goal (Settings — campaign settings) – Ensure your campaign goal is optimizing towards your desired goal. Google campaigns allow you to optimize towards leads, website traffic, or sales. See screencap below.
  • Exclude Placements on Sites With Sensitive Content – (Settings — Account Settings) – By eliminating sites with sensitive content, you can protect your brand integrity by ensuring ads are not shown on sites with explicit content. Your brand is associated with what site assets are shown on, so it is vital to minimize irrelevant content.
  • Exclude unwanted placements – Add negative placements for sites you don’t want to appear on. You can see what sites are not converting by looking at, ‘where your ads appeared.’ I tested eliminating YouTube as a negative placement and it increased CTR (click-through rate) by 1% in a 2 week period.
  • Ensure Asset Quality is Enticing – Ensure you have high-quality images where it’s clear what the purpose of the ad is. Ads featuring people tend to have higher click-through rates.
  • Optimize Towards Best Performing Ads – (Settings – Campaign Settings – Additional Settings) – By optimizing towards best-performing ads, Google will show users ads more likely to get more clicks or conversions.

Campaign and Ad Group Structure 

Like any marketing structure, specifically in GDN (Google Display Network), it’s important to have a proper account structure. Your campaign should be based on a certain topic. For example, since I’m a coffee addict, let’s use Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Coffee grounds as our campaign name. I picked a specific product (or focus) intentionally to get as granular as I can. I recommend creating the following ad groups based on the following custom audiences.

  • Keywords – Create a custom audience based on people searching for relevant terms. Creating a keyword-based audience will show ads to people searching for certain terms. Below is a screencap of an audience used for one of my biotech clients.
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  • Competitors – By creating a competitor audience, you can input your competitor’s sites under, ‘or people who browse websites similar to.’ Google will show your ads to folks who view your competitor’s sites
  • Vertical Targeting – Add in observation mode initially to not limit your audience. Add custom affinity audiences, demographics, or in-market audiences to target your ideal customer!
  • Remarketing – Ensure you have a proper remarketing tag set up on your site so you can show ads to folks who have already visited your site.
  • Prospecting – Create a ‘similar to’ audience. This capability will likely be limited with the use of third-party cookies in the near future, but doing so will allow you to gauge demographics such as age and marital status for future targeting

In conclusion 

Well, there you have it friends. My best practices for GDN. May the odds be in your favor and happy targeting!



How is the Blockchain Shaping the Digital Marketing Automation Tools?



How is the Blockchain Shaping the Digital Marketing Automation Tools?

It is no doubt that most of us are aware of what blockchain is and how it has shaped the future of digital marketing automation. If you are reading this article, then you might be wondering what exactly is the difference between blockchain and digital marketing automation?

What Exactly Is Blockchain? The blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that records transactions between two parties. A block stores information about previous transactions, so each block contains a link to its previous transaction’s record to prevent double-spending.

The users will have their copy of the record on their device so they can keep track of all the changes made in that particular chain by any member of the network.

The Blockchain Is Creating a New World

The blockchain is a new technology. It’s based on the idea of decentralization and peer-to-peer networks, which makes it different from traditional centralized systems. Blockchain technology uses a distributed ledger to store information, making it impossible for a hacker to modify the data stored on the network.

The blockchain can get used in many ways, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. But it also has applications in other industries such as digital marketing automation tools where marketers need fast access to information about their customers or prospects without having to go through an intermediary (like Google Analytics).

Some companies have started using this technology as part of their product offerings by providing users with access to their data through APIs that they can use however they wish (for example: visualizing trends over time).


How Digital Marketing Automation Tools Work

Digital marketing automation tools work by task automation like sending emails, creating landing pages, and tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns. These tools can help you save time and money by automating tasks.

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For example, let’s say you want to reach out to more leads on LinkedIn but you don’t have time to send them an email every day. With a digital marketing automation tool like HubSpot or Marketo, you can set up an autoresponder sequence that will send out emails automatically so all you have to do is check-in once in a while and make sure everything’s running smoothly.

Prepare for the Future of the Blockchain Marketing

As technology continues to evolve, the blockchain will play a pivotal role in digital marketing. This is because it offers a secure and reliable platform that marketers can use to communicate with their audience. In addition, it also provides better transparency than traditional marketing methods because of its decentralized nature.

Below are some of the ways that marketers can benefit from using blockchain:

  • Security: The blockchain offers greater security than traditional methods of digital marketing since it doesn’t rely on central servers or third parties.
  • Efficiency: Using blockchain technology means there’s no need for middlemen or intermediaries when conducting transactions online. This improves efficiency by cutting out unnecessary steps between two parties looking to transact business with one another; this saves both time and money for both parties involved!

Secure Digital Marketing Tool Designed on Blockchain

A digital marketing tool designed on blockchain will be more robust and secure. Blockchain technology is a decentralized, distributed ledger technology that helps in recording transactions between two parties efficiently.

It also ensures that the records cannot be tampered with once they get recorded. This means that if you buy a product from an e-commerce website and pay for it using cryptocurrency (a form of digital currency), then no one can hack into the system and change your transaction record to avoid paying you the money.

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In general, blockchain offers marketers several benefits:

  • It allows for better data sharing and storage than traditional databases
  • It offers enhanced security features because there is no single point of failure
  • It can help companies boost productivity by integrating both humans and machines

Blockchain Protocol That Ensures Safety, Security

Don’t worry, you can still use digital advertising. You just need to trust the blockchain protocol that runs it.

Ad-blocking software has made digital advertising ineffective already and will soon make all digital advertising completely ineffective. You see, if you are using ad-blocking software on your computer or mobile device, then you’re not seeing any of the ads being served to people who aren’t using ad blockers.

This means that advertisers must pay for each impression (or view) of their ads, even when those impressions do not get seen by anyone at all!


By adopting a blockchain protocol for their digital advertising campaigns, marketers and publishers can verify which impressions are being seen by humans and prove whether or not they were delivered effectively before paying for them.

It is worth mentioning that the benefits can be multifold as is already visible from the other spaces like the cryptocurrency markets. Numerous traders are gaining from the rising cryptocurrency prices. So, digital markets too must watch out for this technology.

The entire industry benefits because everyone is working together instead of trying to scam each other through fake views on fake websites with fake content created solely for financial gain without any real value-added back into society whatsoever!

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Digital Technology Is Changing Everything

You probably already know that digital technology is changing everything. But what you may not realize is that blockchain is one of the biggest and most important digital technologies to come out in years.

Blockchain can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s worth learning about because it’s changing the way we do business, marketing, and advertising—even as we speak! The best place to start learning is by understanding what blockchain means. It’s essentially a decentralized database that allows information (such as financial transactions) to be stored on multiple computers rather than in one location. This makes it more secure than traditional databases which are usually stored on just one server or computer system.


As you can see, the blockchain is changing the way we interact with technology. It’s also changing how we experience marketing automation tools, and how they work. The future of digital marketing will be shaped by this new technology, which means marketers need to start exploring how it can be applied to their jobs now.

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